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Goodbye Textbooks, Hello iPad

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new dept.

Education 396

PolygamousRanchKid writes "Students and teachers in grade school through higher education are using the iPad to augment their lessons or to replace textbooks. Jennifer Kohn's third grade class at Millstone Elementary School in Millstone, New Jersey, mastered the iPad with minimal training. For the most part, the students didn't need to be taught how to use their apps, Kohn says. College students are also turning to the iPad to do what they do instinctively well: saving themselves money. Marianne Petit, a New York University staff member, recently began taking credits in pursuit of another certification, and uses her iPad in place of textbooks. 'The price of the iPad pays for itself after a single semester,' Petit said. 'iPad books cost so much less it's a legal alternative for students who are using BitTorent [to pirate books].' Like the PC before it, Kohn noted that the iPad isn't a panacea for educators: It has its appropriate time and place. 'I don't use them with every lesson or even day. It's not always appropriate to lesson or objective of what I'm trying to teach,' Kohn noted."

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396 comments

Uh... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341810)

s/iPad/ANY TABLET/g

Re:Uh... (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341826)

But they're not using ANY TABLET, they're using iPads.

Re:Uh... (5, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341884)

I got internet on a 28.8kbit line in 1996.
If somebody told me: look, in 15 years they will still study on books I would have ROTFLMAO.

Re:Uh... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341924)

Which is pretty sad. They're presenting text and maybe some images, the "textbooks" should be platform agnostic.

Re:Uh... (5, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342244)

I'm willing to bet half of the administrators of these schools have never heard of any alternatives to iPads and so never considered any of the more logical choices (e.g.any e-reader)

Re:Uh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342064)

But but but but.... it's teh Linux!!!!!onehundredeleven!!!
 
Linux losers need to put their 2 cents in anywhere they can. It's just disgusting anymore.

Re:Uh... (3, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341916)

That's what it should be, yeah.

Remember when PCWorld used to be one giant ad for whatever PC program-of-the month was paying them? Now it seems that it panders to Apple too.

The "article" is just one giant love fest for the iPad, arranged by the founder of "iPhome". Oh well, at least they managed to mention "Kindle" once.

Re:Uh... (3, Insightful)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341986)

But then again, speaking of Kindle, it itself became the Apple of eInk devices, where you'd figure the Kindle was the only one available as no other manufacturers ever get mentioned. Even back in the day when it was only Amazon and Sony, and maybe some smaller manufacturers, Sony didn't exist in most article authors' world, even though they had a superior reader.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342238)

I had one, Sony's readers were crap.

Re:Uh... (4, Insightful)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342264)

Bullshit. When the Kindle had a crap dark gray screen, the 505 was head and shoulders above it in contrast. And it wasn't a placticky toy with a keyboard. Sony also was the first to put touch on their readers, and later improved it with infrared sensors on the side, something that Amazon and B&N are using today. Sony had it probably a year in advance.

Re:Uh... (2)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342254)

sed you're my hero.

I'd love to see them try this at a title 1 school.

Little kids with ipads in the inner city? they're gonna get mugged for their 'textbooks'

Re:Uh... (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342260)

It used to be that noone would get fired for buying IBM. Then it was Microsoft. When it comes to tablets, Apple is still the leader by market share. They are the low-risk option. Sure, you pay more. A lot more. But if it all goes horribly wrong, you can't be accused of causing the problem by buying inferior equipment.

iPad books cost less? (4, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341816)

I thought the standard book industry line was that the cost of printing is only a few dollars, most of the cost is for authors, editors, copywriters, etc., and that's why e-books are priced very near print books.

That should be doubly so for textbooks because you're not just making up stories and writing them down plus you have to have special content like illustrations, photographs, and quizzes.

There aren't special discounts because the e-book is being sold for the iPad, are there?

"iPad books cost so much less...It's a legal alternative for students who are using BitTorent [to pirate books]."

Re:iPad books cost less? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341874)

with actual textbooks(for 3rd graders), you'd think that doing superficial changes to layout is the biggest cost beside printing.

the books for that cost what they cost because they can cost. think of the children etc..

Re:iPad books cost less? (5, Informative)

gander666 (723553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341902)

The case of textbooks is special for many reasons. First, students (and I am talking University Students here) MUST buy them. No choice in the matter. Second, there has long been a lively secondary market for used books. This infuriated the main line publishers, that they couldn't get fresh money for fresh books every semester/quarter/year. Third, to counter this, they collude with the authors, and have frequent revisions. Never changing much, but enough that lesson plans would be altered with the wrong edition text. Thus, it is rare that a text is god for more than 2 years between revisions.

Couple that with the fact that there is a limited run on text books (never a large production run), a captive market, and thus really high prices, and you get a very warped market. The publishers are actually happy to sell a reduced price electronic version, DRM'd, to each student, and cut out the secondary resellers.

That said, when I chased my Physics degree, for my core, I always bought new, marked them up, and keep them. Today, my two volumes of Graduate level Quantum server merely to intimidate coworkers.

Re:iPad books cost less? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341954)

Couple that with the fact that there is a limited run on text books (never a large production run), a captive market, and thus really high prices, and you get a very warped market. The publishers are actually happy to sell a reduced price electronic version, DRM'd, to each student, and cut out the secondary resellers.

Which of course makes the argument bogus, if you lost the resale value they didn't actually become any better value. But that's what you get when you use math from the ed-uh-cation department.

Re:iPad books cost less? (4, Interesting)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342012)

The electronic version might be cheaper, but it will be cheaper by 5%, or some trivial amount like that, just like eBooks. iPad versions of text books won't "cost so much less."

Re:iPad books cost less? (3, Interesting)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342072)

Not when you figure in the cost of the iPad, and the inevitable cost of replacing them at least 5 times owing to smashed screens after various playground antics.

Re:iPad books cost less? (5, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342326)

This is absolutely wrong. My wife's Math books last semester were $400 more for the text book over the e-book version. That paid for our new iPad.

Re:iPad books cost less? (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342024)

I don't know how long this will list. Middle child heads straight off to the Khan Academy when he wants a second opinion on one subject or another. Oldest child was so pissed at his thermo textbook, that he spent a summer trying to write his own. Textbooks for older kids are just documents, they don't need some fancy app.

Re:iPad books cost less? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342088)

khhhhhhaaaaaaAAAAAANNNN

Re:iPad books cost less? (5, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342042)

Second, there has long been a lively secondary market for used books. This infuriated the main line publishers, that they couldn't get fresh money for fresh books every semester/quarter/year.

Until you get to college anyway. Then the publishers "lobby" the professors just like big corps lobby the congressmen, and get them to change what textbook they "require" for their class every few years. Books bought in the spring for $250 are bought back by the book stores that fall for $24 because they won't be used there next semester.

It would be nice if universities required the profs to list the book costs and the average resale value of books bought for their classes in the course list. Then when you had three profs teaching African History and two of them have average end costs of $100 and one has $300 because the prof keeps changing books, enrollment for that one prof plummets and his department head threatens to cut that class off the list. That's the only way to fix that problem.

Hard to say how effective it would be though - so many college students haven't learned how to manage money and are on a "spend/charge/loan now, worry about pay later when I get a lucrative job" attitude that they really don't pay as much attention to up-front costs as they should.

Re:iPad books cost less? (4, Informative)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342176)

It would be nice if universities required the profs to list the book costs and the average resale value of books bought for their classes in the course list. Then when you had three profs teaching African History and two of them have average end costs of $100 and one has $300 because the prof keeps changing books, enrollment for that one prof plummets and his department head threatens to cut that class off the list. That's the only way to fix that problem.

You act as if professors work in the bookstore with a database of book prices open on their computers. Having been university faculty, I know professors are "shielded" frrom the price of the books they select for pedagogical (as opposed to financial) reasons. Usually, faculty submit a list with titles and authors to administrative staff who then notify ordering faculty of new editions and other changes to the book order. Faculty get desk copies that have no price; faculty do not know how much the books they choose to best teach the subject cost.

In your scenario, it's quite likely that the faculty requiring more expensive texts will have better, more authoritative, more current texts than the faculty with less-expensive texts. Price is not a guarantee of quality, but it sometimes provides a quick index to value.

Re:iPad books cost less? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342060)

> Third, to counter this, they collude with the authors, and have frequent revisions.

Just as a clarification for non-US readers, the authors are frequently the Professors who are delivering the lessons.

This explains why they set exercises from the text books ( e.g. Page 20 Exercise 2 ) instead of having prepared their own exercise curriculum discrete from the questions in the book: they directly profit from the text book upgrade cycle.

Re:iPad books cost less? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342164)

[the authors (professors)] directly profit from the text book upgrade cycle.

Having actually talked to a professor that published his own book for a class: no, no they don't.

Re:iPad books cost less? (4, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342286)

The cost difference between my wife's Math textbooks and their equivalent e-book version was $400 for us last semester. In other words, an iPad pays for itself in one semester of school.

Re:iPad books cost less? (5, Informative)

Scr4tchFury (1211936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341906)

There are no discounts. The students are downloading illegal copies of books.

Re:iPad books cost less? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342008)

It can be cheaper, look at CourseSmart.com.

Re:iPad books cost less? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342036)

May I introduce to you "the lie": It is a statement that is factually false, uttered by an entity, for its advantage (usually to the detriment of others).

It's not like printing companies are some hidden mysterious places. You can go there and get a quote for your book and even have them print it for real (they also answer E-Mail).

Re:iPad books cost less? (4, Informative)

microcars (708223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342302)

The kids are using APPS, not eBooks.
The quote is from someone going to college that says the iPad eBooks are cheaper.
Being an iPad-using college student myself, I can tell you that when there is an actual eBook available (ePub or PDF), it is about 1/2 the list price of the hardcover "textbook".
However, the secondary market is eliminated as it is not easy to sell a DRM'ed eBook, so the cost savings are upfront only.
You end up paying the same price over the life of the course compared to students who buy the books at list price and then sell them later for 1/2 price.

Wow (0, Redundant)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341820)

Oh good, Apple took a trick from Microsoft on indoctrinating the next generation.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341866)

I see you skipped the "History of Technology in Education 101" class.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342194)

Oh good, Apple took a trick from Microsoft on indoctrinating the next generation.

I was amazed recently to see my 15 month old niece playing with an iPad. As I watched my first thought was how lucky she is to be creating those connections in her brain at such a young age, but then I realized we are raising a generation of newly-born children who may very well reach a significant age (say, 8, when I started using computers [in 1980]) before they ever need to touch a real keyboard. Their expectations of a user interface will far exceed ours, and at the same time they may be more a prisoner to the technology because - forget about command line - they'll barely know how to use access a file system using a GUI and a mouse.

At least they will be inside on their computers and not trampling all over my lawn.

School changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341822)

School must have changed a lot since I went. Back when I was a kid we had to write stuff down, not just read and push buttons on multiple choice questions.

See that round hole, now shove that square peg through it .... just think of the children and it will fit ;)

Re:School changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341854)

If Star Trek predicted touch screens being common in the 24th century wtf do you think we're gonna have int he 21st???

Re:School changed (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341936)

Cave paintings, unless we sort out our various resource crises.

If we do.. well, maybe we'll have smart paper as envisioned in The Diamond Age, or Virtual Retinal Display goggles ("phenomenoscopes", also in Diamond Age), or direct brain interface.

Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341824)

I think I quit reading after "iPad saves you money".

When you drop a book... (4, Insightful)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341828)

..It doesn't matter. When you drop an iPad, it's costly to replace. But I'm just preaching to the choir now...

Re:When you drop a book... (5, Interesting)

UncleRage (515550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341952)

Funny thing...

I've deployed around two thousand iPads in our district (and another 500 or so iPod Touches). 1700 (iPads and iTouches) or so to students, another 800 or so to admin/faculty.

Theft of device:
Students: 2.
Faculty/Staff: > 15.

Physical breakage (screen, headphone jack, etc...).
Students: 3.
Faculty Staff: > 20

Students have had devices for nearly three years. Adults, for about eighteen months.

Kids take care of the devices better than the adults (at least in our environment); weird, but there you go...

Re:When you drop a book... (4, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342076)

I wonder if the kids had more of their "life" on the pad then the adults.

Re:When you drop a book... (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342240)

I have multiple teachers in my family and I watch the news. The background is little johnny comes to school with a black eye on occasion and no one cares when you report it, doesn't really matter why. Little johnny breaks the $100 whatever (window, computer keyboard, mouse, textbook, lab equipment, whatever). Well its gonna be hard to look him in his black eye tomorrow, so the written report will be the teacher somehow broke it, even if she tells the kid its going on his permanent record, the actual written report which the kid never sees is going to be a bit different. This lead to comical written reports, "explain why did you put elmers glue in the keyboard again, ms art teacher?". Theres a lot of cover up going on. Then too there's a bit of fairness. Little johnny who you know gets beaten at home gets a cover up... why punish little sally for dropping the ipad just because you think she isn't being beaten? Are you sure? If she shows up dead tomorrow how will you live with yourself? Should "good" parents have to pay replacement money as a punishment for being "good"? If you determine it was an honest accident and "teachable moment" or whatever about responsibility, you just put it on your account instead of the kids account and move on.

All you're really proven is that about 90% of the time, damage is just an honest mistake / accident. Teachers can and do nail the kid to the wall if its blatant like smashing the device over another kids head, or intentional destruction, or hitting the teacher with it, or some kind of 3-strikes and you're out personal policy, but that kind of stuff is kinda rare.

Re:When you drop a book... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342294)

I work at a public school. Last week a student got frustrated with his work and punched a laptop so hard the screen fractured. This isn't that uncommon an occurance. Equipment lifespan depends on the students.

Re:When you drop a book... (2)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342304)

That's interesting. How old are the kids? I'm guessing that most kids just live with the headphone jack problems rather than report it.

Also, if they know the break was their fault they may just get their parents to buy them a new one.

Do they have to return the ipads at the end of the year? It'll be interesting if the ratio of broken/lost devices continues at the end of the year.

Re:When you drop a book... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342112)

I have a son with severe autism, who uses an ipad to communicate. He's non verbal, and has a low IQ. Not only has he instinctively figured the iPad out, and used it in ways we never dreamed possible, but he's pretty rough on the thing. He's tried to eat it, he's dropped it, slept on it (he is 9, so not a tiny tot), sat on it, gotten it wet many times, (Both from the above mentioned trying to eat it, and from having it near liquids) and it is still fine. We got a great case (gumdrop) and although I don't recommend doing what he does, it's still fine once you take the beat up case off. We also paid for one of those "if you smash it under your car we'll replace it" plans, which I normally avoid. If I knew the case was going to be this good...

I can see the article now down the road... (5, Insightful)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341862)

Textbooks yanked from students iPads during a semester because of DRM glitch. Thousands of kids are unable to do their book work as teachers scramble to come up with alternatives while the issue gets resolved between the publisher, Apple, and anyone else.

*Whump* It may be old, it may be so yesteryear but a book works fine. Not to mention as a learning tool it also makes a great:

* Blunt object to smack the bully who's harassing you with if he tries to take it from you.

* Something to stand on to reach that higher shelf

* Foot rest when doing something other then Calculus or Physics. God those books weighed a ton!

* Something your kid could poke around in when your older and not have to deal with DRM restrictions that lock the title to you alone. Seriously I found my parents old math books in the attic one day and I was amazed going through them when I was younger.

* It works great when the batteries are dead and you have a candle to read by.

Now that I've ranted I'll get off the lawn before the guy with the stone tablets comes out and yells at me. Don't ask him how he parted the waters in his birdbath. You'll get your ear talked off.

Re:I can see the article now down the road... (4, Insightful)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342038)

* Something that can screw up the kid's back for life.

Have you seen the size of these kids' backpacks? Not saying that the iPad is the best answer, but at least it would lighten those loads.

They're using tablets (3, Insightful)

kervin (64171) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341870)

...and they could have just have easily been using Netbooks or Laptops for this. And the advantage of a laptop is that these starving students would save themselves even that $600 the tablet costs as they need a laptop for real work anyway.

Re:They're using tablets (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341966)

...and they could have just have easily been using Netbooks or Laptops for this. And the advantage of a laptop is that these starving students would save themselves even that $600 the tablet costs as they need a laptop for real work anyway.

An iPad doesn't cost $600. And a netbook wouldn't save anything because they need a laptop for real work anyway.

Re:They're using tablets (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342066)

...and they could have just have easily been using Netbooks or Laptops for this.

Perversely, the walled garden means management cant intentionally add spyware to them as easily as a PC. Laptops take 5+ minutes to boot and load all the inventory monitor, virus scanner and its updates, OS updates, keyloggers both management approved and downloaded accidentally off the internet, and the battery is dead by the end of the first class... then what?

If you go laptop, you need a AC power outlet at each desk, which is going to be expensive to wire, and the kids are going to stick wires in there to intentionally electrocute each other.

If you go tablet, the kid needs to carry... the tablet. Charge it at night, it'll run all day. If you forget, the old fashioned dunce chair in the corner becomes "the charger chair" to sit next to the teacher's charger and wall outlet. If you go laptop, the kid needs to carry the laptop, the power adapter which will get lost or forgotten, the power cable from outlet to adapter which will get lost, the inevitable ipod/phone USB charger cable (lets face it, its gonna happen) and probably an old fashioned ethernet cable for locations/times when wifi is not available, and probably a flash drive or two to trade music files with friends, and add a random USB cable or two to hook up to printers/scanners/etc that are not on the LAN (Printer on the lan at work is convenient, on the lan at school means the local 2600 readers are going to anonymously print goatse out on the principals office printer, therefore no printers allowed on the lan at school). The laptop PLUS accessories is going to be bulkier and heavier than all but the stoutest Calc or Physics books, negating most of the purpose.

Yes, I've read textbooks on a regular old fashioned desktop. I suppose I could on a laptop or netbook. It just makes more sense to use a tablet.

Re:They're using tablets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342116)

Netbooks are Laptops are not very comfortable to read on for long periods, their displays are not designed to match a full page. My 10" tablet is nearly the same as reading a textbook and my Nook is nearly the same as reading a fiction book.

Re:They're using tablets (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342204)

Another huge advantage of netbooks is the keyboard. The inability to type limits the usage of the device in class. But if they really just wanted a digital textbook, an ebook would have been cheaper and better for their eyes, kids have a harder time staring at displays all day long.

But, regardless of the Apple bashing, it's still better than pen and paper. We have waited for too long for schools to switch to digital. Now Apple started a move by persuading schools to use their devices. of course, they will offer their own devices, but netbook or ebook producers could have similar programs too. So yes, while initially Apple will dominate classrooms, it's more important that schools open up to digital methods. After they get used to it, they will have proper knowledge to choose the best tool for the job.

Re:They're using tablets (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342296)

Another huge advantage of netbooks is the keyboard. The inability to type limits the usage of the device in class

It would be so nice if the iPad could use any old Bluetooth keyboard....

Oh wait!! It can.

Re:They're using tablets (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342332)

an ebook would have been cheaper and better for their eyes, kids have a harder time staring at displays all day long

LOL hilarious. Yeah kids hate video games and they hate watching TV and the older ones really hate spending hours on that facebook thing. Just can't get them to look at a screen...

the 3rd graders mastered the ipad? (4, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341878)

"Jennifer Kohn's third grade class at Millstone Elementary School in Millstone, New Jersey, mastered the iPad with minimal training."

Mastered meaning they learned objective-c and xcode and now have multiple million unit selling apps?

Re:the 3rd graders mastered the ipad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342018)

Have you seen the quality of "apps" lately? :)

Re:the 3rd graders mastered the ipad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342132)

Mastered meaning they learned objective-c and xcode and now have multiple million unit selling apps?

They only write fart apps...

Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (3)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341882)

...how this lady chirps for one particular piece of equipment. Who paid her ?

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (4, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341930)

...how this lady chirps for one particular piece of equipment. Who paid her ?

I'm not suspicious at all. Occam's razor leads me to believe that she just likes it more than lugging around expensive single subject text books. Most of the time, things are really just that simple.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (3, Insightful)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341958)

When an e-ink device is a fraction of the cost of an iPad & has the classroom advantage of being better suited for text and poorly suited for games, I come to the conclusion that she is either paid for or stupid.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342138)

But why would you limit yourself to a worse UI than the actual textbooks*? I think the point is to improve on them. In fact, the article shows interactiveness and animation.

I never had an iPad (or laptop, for that matter) on my classes, but certain animations on e.g. Wikipedia or videos projected by teachers were certainly helpful to better visualize some concepts.

I know someone will reply that they learned just fine by decoding morse in their head while they walked barefoot uphill both ways, but I think it's stupid to intentionally make stuff harder to understand if we have the technology now.

And I believe iPads (or other tablets) can be locked down to prevent installing new apps without authorization, can't they?

* At least mine had color diagrams.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342328)

Worse UI than a textbook? Not a black & white one, which is most of my kids' books. They are more expensive and FAR heavier.

Sure, when the price of iPads or other tablets drop to a better level, AND the school IT departments figure out how to lock them down, AND the teachers learn how to use them, I'm cool with putting them in the classroom.

However, my 1st & 4th grade kids currently have tons of black & white, heavy, paper books that they have to lug around, and I pay several times the cost of a small Kindle every year for these books.

An e-ink device can be put in place right NOW. There is almost no training to them.

I've been around long enough to hear about a computer in every classroom, mobile laptop carts, and one laptop per child. What I've seen with every one of these is about 2 teachers in every school "get it", while the rest have no idea how to use them properly. I don't see how a tablet will suddenly fix this.

I don't want to wait for the teachers to adapt, I just want them to permit my kids to bring their e-ink reader instead of a big ass book. Right now, the biggest barrier to this is getting the same textbooks in ereader format that they use for the paper books.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342146)

I love my Sony eReader, but I honestly can't see it being used for text books.

The Kindle DX is currently the only full page reader (there are others that are 8"), but it itself isn't too cheap. Flipping between pages is just too arduous and slow, and the lack of color lends itself against textbooks, which often are full of images, and graphics, and tables that use colors to differentiate data.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38341972)

But why would she say iPad and not tablet? There are huge numbers of tablets that compete with the iPad.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341992)

Because she's a dumb ass who thinks like the rest of Mac owners, nothing exist out there. Apple as won it's bet, DUMB ASS people rule unfortunately.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342118)

But shouldn't news reporters have a broader understanding and not use one manufacturer's product to describe a whole market? I was watching some video of "disabled people voting with the iPad" where someone was holding an iPad up for a person and they pressed buttons. Could have been done with any tablet or touch screen from 10 years ago. Someone is shilling for Apple in many, many articles.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342050)

But why would she say iPad and not tablet? There are huge numbers of tablets that compete with the iPad.

Because the creator of iPhome, a case designed for the iPad, arranged it.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342108)

Teachers love to teach the device not the concept.

I grew up in an era where you had to own THE TI-81 in school, and we were taught at the detail level of individual button press solely to use that calculator. not any other brand. not even any other model. Simply not allowed. In fact we were tested on exactly which keys on a TI-81 were required to graph a certain segment of a sine wave, for example.

I know it sounds insane, because it was, but since it was a stupid idea, I'm sure its being vigorously enforced to this day. Can anyone surprise me with a more modern anecdote? Perhaps with a different slightly newer TI model. But I guarantee it will be enforced that every single device on the desk will be identical, whatever it ends up being.

I am 100% certain that the math teacher will find some math related app and 100% of the kids will be required to use that exact app. I don't think the teacher is going to be amused at not only having to find a useful free app (good luck) but it has to run perfectly "keystroke" identical on ios, all android devices, and who knows what else (webos? somebody's laptop?)

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342144)

I know it sounds insane, because it was, but since it was a stupid idea, I'm sure its being vigorously enforced to this day. Can anyone surprise me with a more modern anecdote? Perhaps with a different slightly newer TI model. But I guarantee it will be enforced that every single device on the desk will be identical, whatever it ends up being.

Didn't we always hear that kids _must_ be raised on Windows so they can function properly in the workplace? Reminds me that the number of people claiming this seems to has gone down, probably because the hordes of school leavers that are unemployable now because they learned Windows XP or Windows Vista instead of Windows 7.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342318)

TI-84 in my time. Although the teacher did not mind us using other calculators, but he stated that he could not help with how the interface/graphing works on the other models. It was a 'use at own risk' situation.

As you can imagine, some people were using the old TI-81 from their family's elder brothers or sisters.

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342316)

But why would she say iPad and not tablet? There are huge numbers of tablets that compete with the iPad.

What type of central management solution do these other tablets offer?

Re:Strange & IMHO slightly suspicious... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342324)

...how this lady chirps for one particular piece of equipment. Who paid her ?

I'm not suspicious at all. Occam's razor leads me to believe that she just likes it more than lugging around expensive single subject text books. Most of the time, things are really just that simple.

I think it's even simpler than that - it's shiny, she feels good when she has a shiny, so she tells everyone how wonderful her shiny is and that they should get one too, because that will make her feel even better that everyone is following her lead.

It doesn't really have to have a purpose, since it does, it makes the "wonderful" statements that much easier to articulate, but it wouldn't be nearly as attractive if it were dirty beige plastic with an amber on black display - perhaps just as functional, but it just wouldn't have that "I'm special because I have one of these" gestalt.

Good idea but poor execution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341938)

They save lot's of money, right up until you have to replace a smashed one.

I think we've finally seen a more reasonable price point out of the Kindle ($80) would be low enough that a large portion of the parental population wouldn't murder their child after just one being destroyed.

iPads on the other a bit harder to recover from. That and it's a fucking iPad. Are we going out of our way to teach our children to be douche bags?

Re:Good idea but poor execution (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342054)

No one will be using eInk for text books. Will never happen. And I've owned a few Sony readers for the past 4 years.

Re:Good idea but poor execution (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342104)

Pads on the other a bit harder to recover from. That and it's a fucking iPad. Are we going out of our way to teach our children to be douche bags?

So you are more or less seriously saying that using an iPad would "teach a child to be a douche bag"? You should re-think your outlook on the world.

Re:Good idea but poor execution (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342148)

I think we've finally seen a more reasonable price point out of the Kindle ($80) would be low enough that a large portion of the parental population wouldn't murder their child after just one being destroyed.

You're too optimistic. I have multiple teachers in my family and I watch the news and kids get beaten all the time for losing less money for cheaper textbooks and library books and hats and mittens and such. Think about it, $80 is a lot of crack or malt liquor, the kid just lost your high money, you've got a fist and you remember the pains of going thru withdrawal last time, in some inferior subcultures that kid is in serious physical danger...

nulling all contracts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341956)

You cannot enter a contract with a minor, so who agrees to all the apple phone home bullshit when you first turn it on from the factory ? what about the apps ? and all the admob tracking bullshit within ?

selling your soul wasnt enough egh ? you had to sell your kids too

Re:nulling all contracts (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342034)

The School District. That's who. In the US at least, School Districts enjoy the right of "in loco parentis," and can make decisions on behalf of your child as if they were the parent.

This post brought to you by iPad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38341990)

What a glorious device the iPad must be. Why, it can do everything! I must get one today.

Seriously? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342046)

During my day job, I use a computer for about 8 hours. I then use a computer for my classes for approximately 2 or 3 more hours--and that's on a good day. If I have time before bed, I then use a computer to watch something online as I avoid overpriced cable or satellite charges this way. After all this effort in using a computer, I still have yet to feel like my computer is helping my life out in any way.

Instead?

I'm charged with a pupil's responsibility of sorting through the bullshit "companion documentation" some disillusioned instructor uploaded to his or her Blackboard class just to find something as trivial as a due date, and we all know how easy it can be to siphon through large PDFs, like a 3 MB syllabus. I'm then expected to sort through more damn PDFs just for shit that said instructor thinks is important to circle-jerk to during "blog discussions" or "online reflections." I'm then expected to download yet another PDF to read before some joke class meeting where we pretend to be learning all of this supposed knowledge that's supposedly meant to help us better our lives which we all know won't happen unless we find that supposed magical fairytale job that exists out there in our supposed dream life we're all waiting for. Supposedly...

Thank the lord for unorganized distance education, inaccessible websites that have no semantic structure whatsoever, overpaid professionals who do nothing useful in higher education, unrealistic instruction by nimrod professors who've lost their grip to reality due to everything ranging from red tape to tenure, annoyingly long PDFs covering research statistics and data nobody really gives a rat's ass about... ...and our wonderful hand-held units that we now get to experience this all through.

Re:Seriously? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342272)

Computers were supposed to kill paper, and they may yet. During my generation, the 2 page typed essay ballooned to 10+ pages due to the accessibility of word processors (and, to a lesser degree then, to the ease of finding reference material.)

"Paperwork" required for everything has mushroomed due to the relative ease of its generation.

God forbid that we could actually get by on the old forms that made life work in 1811 and just do them faster because we don't have to fill them out with quill and scroll and deliver them on horseback.

Great financial stewardship! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342098)

I'm glad the taxpayers of Millstone, NJ are being forced to pay money they don't have for one brand or another of the most perishable IT technology there is. In five years or so all of those iPads will be in the landfill, and the good, well-meaning but ignorant taxpayers of Millstone can repeat the process. I hope the schools teach those kids some solid Personal Finance; they certainly are not going to learn it from their parents or the School Board, (that jumping off point for nascent political careers).

Where do they draw penises... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342120)

In high school the books were riddled with sketches of penises, vaginas and pot leafs...how are you supposed to pass this on to the next generation with an iPad?

Crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342122)

Nobody is out to steal textbooks, but a $700+ iPad in the hands of a seven year old is probably risky.

Remarks (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342150)

Students usually write various remarks inside textbook. Finger is not ideal tool for this (and keyboard is useless for quick equation, graph or schema). So, this will have also downside for students, especially if SW is general "reader", not tailored for this specific use.

Re:Remarks (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342222)

Paper and pencil has had millenia of development, computer interfaces are just passing the 50 year mark. (observation attributed loosely to Bill Gates in some interview I have long since forgotten)

Yes please but wouldn't epaper be better? (2)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342202)

As a parent who's eldest has just started secondary (high) school I say the sooner they move to e-books the better. Its not just about money. I am concerned about the weight of textbooks my 12 year old daughter has to lug around. They have lockers but regularly brings home 10kg or more of books for homework or study. The problem has gotten much worse than when I was a school kid because
a. Schoolbooks are bigger, glossier and consequently heavier and
b. Every subject now has a separate workbook which doubles up the number of books.

So I would welcome the transition to ebooks with open arms but I wonder if the technology is ready yet. On the hardware side battery life is critical. Between school time and homework the kids could be using the tablet for 8 hours a day. With even the best of current tablets that means forgetting to plug in overnight could lose you a whole schoolday. On the software side I am also concerned that the whole e-book industry is still a mess with conflicting standards and restrictive drm: "I am sorry but we won't be covering Lord of the Flies this year because you cannot get it in XYZ format".

Give it time... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342206)

iPad books cost so much less it's a legal alternative for students who are using BitTorent [to pirate books].

iTunes singles are 0.99, and still people pirate mass quantities of music.

hulu came out ad-free, and they have been increasing the ad quantities steadily ever since.

iPad books are "so much less" right now, they will increase in price until iPad publishers reach a maximum profit.

Nice! (2)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342284)

New technology will bring also brand new excused not to study and not to do homework.
- I've got a virus
- The memory card got broken
- I ran out of power
- I couldn't get online to download the homework
- The dog ate my tablet

Moral panic incoming... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38342320)

Just wait for the first student to get caught by their parents looking at porn on their school-suplied iPad. Those things will be locked down so tight after that, Apple could only dream of that kind of control. Probably have web browsing disabled entirely, along with all apps except the book reader, and that set to only open approved school-distributed texts.

BitTorent != illegal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38342334)

typical

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